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Windows XP Installation Guidelines

Windows XP Installation Guidelines

You can install Windows XP Home Edition or Professional in a virtual machine using the corresponding Windows XP distribution CD.

Note: To use SCSI disks in a Windows XP virtual machine, you need a special SCSI driver available from the download section of the VMware Web site at www.vmware.com/download. Follow the instructions on the Web site to use the driver with a fresh installation of Windows XP. If you have a virtual machine with a SCSI virtual disk and a Windows 9x, Windows Me, Windows NT or Windows 2000 guest operating system and want to upgrade it to Windows XP, install the new SCSI driver before upgrading the operating system.

Installation Steps

Installation Steps

If you want to run Windows XP Home Edition or Professional in a VMware Workstation virtual machine, be sure you have a full installation CD for the operating system.

Before installing the operating system, be sure that you have already created a new virtual machine and configured it using the VMware Workstation New Virtual Machine Wizard (on Windows hosts) or Configuration Wizard (on Linux hosts). Make sure you selected Windows XP as your guest operating system.

Now, you're ready to install Windows XP Home Edition or Professional.

Installing the Guest Operating System

Installing the Guest Operating System

  1. Use the VMware Workstation Configuration Editor to verify the virtual machine's devices are set up as you expect before starting the installation. For example, if you would like networking software to be installed during the Windows XP installation, be sure the virtual machine's Ethernet adapter is configured and enabled. VMware also recommends that you disable the screen saver on the host system before starting the installation process.

  2. Insert the installation CD in the CD-ROM drive.

  3. Power on the virtual machine to start installing the guest operating system.

  4. Follow the installation steps as you would for a physical machine, except as noted in the following steps.

  5. After the system reboots, a message balloon asks if you want Windows to automatically correct your screen resolution and color depth setting. Do not make the change at this time. You cannot change resolution and color depth until you have installed the VMware SVGA driver - part of the VMware Tools package.

  6. Run the VMware Tools installer. For details, see Installing VMware Tools.

  7. When the guest operating system reboots, allow it to change the screen resolution and color depth setting.

VMware Tools

VMware Tools

Be sure to install VMware Tools in your guest operating system. For details on installing VMware Tools, see Installing VMware Tools.

Enabling Sound in a Windows XP Guest

Enabling Sound in a Windows XP Guest

Windows XP does not automatically detect and install drivers for ISA sound cards, such as the Creative Labs Sound Blaster emulated in a virtual machine. For details on installing the driver for the virtual machine's sound card, see Sound in a Windows XP or Windows .NET Server Guest.

Known Issues

Known Issues

The Microsoft Windows XP product activation feature creates a numerical key based on the virtual hardware in the virtual machine where it is installed. Changes in the configuration of the virtual machine may require you to reactivate the operating system. There are some steps you can take to minimize the number of significant changes.

  • Set the final memory size for your virtual machine before you activate Windows XP. When you cross certain thresholds - approximately 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB - the product activation feature sees the changes as significant.

    Note: The size reported to the Windows product activation feature is slightly less than the actual amount configured for the virtual machine. For example, 128MB is interpreted as falling in the 64MB-127MB range.

  • Install VMware Tools before you activate Windows XP. When the SVGA driver in the VMware Tools package is installed, it activates features in the virtual graphics adapter that make it appear to Windows XP as a new graphics adapter.
  • If you want to experiment with any other aspects of the virtual machine configuration, do so before activating Windows XP. Keep in mind that you have 30 days for experimentation before you have to activate the operating system.
  • In order to install and run a checked (debug) build of Windows XP in a virtual machine, you must first edit the virtual machine configuration (.vmx or .cfg) file. Add the following line:

    uhci.forceHaltBit = TRUE

For more details on Windows XP product activation, see the Microsoft Web site.

On a Linux host with an XFree86 3.x X server, it is best not to run a screen saver in the guest operating system. Guest screen savers that demand a lot of processing power can cause the X server on the host to freeze.

The hibernation feature is not supported in this release. Instead of using the guest operating system's hibernate feature, suspend the virtual machine by clicking Suspend on the VMware Workstation toolbar.

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